It’s National Forest Week!
Tomorrow’s Greener Communities Today is a program with LTVCA and The CK Health Unit to provide shade in school yards and open spaces across the county.
The Tomorrow’s Greener Communities Today project is a multi-component education and communication community tree planting initiative that encourages sun protective behaviors in communities. This project was developed in 2013 by Chatham-Kent Public Health in partnership with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, with funding received from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Shade tree coverage in Chatham-Kent is among the lowest in the province. The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority estimates that Chatham-Kent has only 4.5% of its land shaded with trees. This is a big difference from historic data, which estimates that Chatham-Kent was once equally divided in thirds by forest cover, prairies, and wetlands. The World Health Organization recommends at least 12% tree cover for a healthy, maintainable community. Tree cover helps to improve air quality, temperature regulation, energy use, storm water management, road pavement life, and quality of life. Tree cover also provides shade which protects from the dangerous effects of the sun including skin cancer. Since the majority of skin cancer cases are preventable, addressing ultraviolet radiation exposure can greatly change the future problem of this disease. Providing shade in communities is an example of reducing ultraviolet radiation exposure.
In collaboration with Chatham-Kent’s Public Health Workplace Wellness Program, information letters and applications were sent in May to workplaces inviting them to apply for free trees. This initiative is an example of how workplaces can positively impact the health of their employees, as well as their community.
The Public Health Unit along with The Lower Thames Conservation Authority planted trees last Friday September 22 at the following workplaces:
Chatham Kent Health Alliance – Chatham
Growing Together Family Resource Centre – Blenheim
Wallaceburg CACC – Wallaceburg
Wallaceburg Bookbinding Ltd – Wallaceburg
Aarkel Tool & Die Inc. – Wallaceburg